The US black population is 13.4% — or in hard figures — that is 47.4 million black souls in the United States. Of that, 4.2 million are immigrants and so, mathematically, that leaves portions of the remaining 43.2 million black populace standing, presumably, as America’s descendants of slavery or ADOS.
Regardless of what era we are in, large swaths of the American electorate does not want to touch reparations with a goddamn flagpole. Why do I say this? Because millions of Americans across all races and social classes find the entire idea either grossly fiscally unfeasible, too logically implausible or as a reckless and unproductive policy cocktail of both. This is true even among some on the liberal side of the argument and yet, unsurprisingly, the loudest voice (great movie, btw) in the room on this subject is always the conservative one. Always.
Enter typical conservative thought on reparations:
“And how in the actual fuck are we supposed to find out if 43 million blacks are slave descendants 400 years after the fact?!” - Every Fiscally Conservative Republican Ever
A fair question I suppose, if it were 1936, but it’s not and the answer is easy, it’s called Ancestry.com, the largest for-profit genealogical company in the world. Of course, though, that is just one part of what should be a three-step verification process of the ancestry of ADOS claimants.
1. The Congressional Committee on Reparations for American Descendants of Slavery (this committee does not exist... yet) will allocate between $500 billion to $15 trillion dollars from the federal government AND corporations who profited off of slavery to seed a robust annual reparations fund.
2. The Committee, through the U.S. National Archives and in partnership with Ancestry.com, will examine all collected DNA samples from ADOS-claiming applicants.
3. Once an applicant’s roots have been successfully traced to an enslaved African ancestor in the U.S. between 1619 and 1865 via genealogical, historical record and genetic genealogy evidence, they will then officially be reclassified as an American Descendant of Slavery from that day on.
4. Official formal letters of apology from both branches of the U.S. Congress, the Supreme Court, the Executive Office of the President for slavery and, optionally, the Office of the Governor from every state for slavery, the domestic terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan, the Black Codes, the Jim Crow laws, police brutality, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration and systemic institutionalized racism.
5. Then a robust reparations package of benefits shall be rolled out to each ADOS citizen over four years, which would include:
- Baby Bonds from age 1 to 18 (up to $100K)
- Reparations-based grants for public four-year and two-year college education (up to $100K)
- Reparations-based full scholarships for private secondary, post-secondary, graduate and vocational education (up to$350K)
- Mortgage grant (up to $600K)
- Auto grant (up to $50K)
- Business Entrepreneurship grant (up to $150K)
- Arts & Entertainment grant (up to $150K)
- Universal basic income from age 18 until death ($1K/mo. for adults & $350/mo. for children)
- Universal healthcare (federal government-run public option and participating private insurance companies offering 100% health coverage for medical, dental, vision, mental health, maternity health and alternative medicine) from birth until death
- Tax-Exempted Salaries and Wages in public sector and participating companies in the private sector
- Free financial counseling (participating private financial advisors)
- Free legal counseling (NAACP and participating private law firms)
- Free marriage counseling (participating private marriage counselors)
This vigorous and targeted socioeconomic stimulus plan—a combination of being the greatest employee severance package and the largest punitive damages settlement in U.S. history—succeeds in:
- Fulfilling the “40 acres and a mule” promise by ensuring every ADOS adult owns real estate and a car (Tesla!) and;
- Creating the foundation and/or increasing the chance of attaining generational wealth among millions of ADOS families for all coming time.
Then, just like that, voilà... racial economic justice… is served, finally, for most, if not all, ADOS after four centuries (and counting) without none. So, if and when Congress signs off on a reparations proposal anywhere near or better then what I have laid out here, then pop champagne and raise a glass to congratulations on some Post Malone shit. Because that is when this nation will, at long last, have the permission of Black America to heal. And the debt of the original sin and all other egregious injustices, past and present, against all manner of black American life will finally have been paid. In full.
And that is how you do reparations, America. You're welcome.